1882 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Knox

Epes Sargent, in Harper's Cyclopaedia of British and American Poetry (1882) 410.



Knox (1789-1825) was a young Scottish poet of considerable talent, who died in Edinburgh, and was the author of The Lonely Hearth, Songs of Zion, The Harp of Zion etc. Sir Walter Scott thus mentions him in his diary: "His father was a respectable yeoman, and he himself succeeding to good farms under the duke of Buccleuch, became too soon his own master, and plunged into dissipation and ruin. His talent then showed itself in a fine strain of pensive poetry." The piece we quote from [Oh! Why Should the Spirit of Mortal be Proud?] was a favorite with Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States. He often referred to it. There are several versions of the poem. We have given the most authentic.